Developers need easy ways to maintain seamless working relationships, whether across multiple rapidly iterating Agile projects or in new self-organizing teams for each build. If they can't collaborate effectively, they can't build cohesively. Tools like Atlassian Confluence can help keep development teams connected.
Atlassian Confluence is a web-based collaboration tool for teams to share knowledge, provide updates and manage work in one centralized location. Remote developers can stay connected and on top of projects. Confluence integrates with other tools that developers frequently use, such as Jira and GitHub, to provide more value to development lifecycles.
This Atlassian Confluence tutorial for beginners shows some fundamental features of the product, how to use them, and some of the best templates and plugins for developers.
Learn Atlassian Confluence basics
In Confluence, teams and individuals can manage and track work, while also providing updates and information to stakeholders and other interested parties. This information sharing takes place through the various stages of work in progress.
One of the core concepts we discuss in this Atlassian Confluence tutorial is Spaces. Typically, you define a Space for each team and for any large project. For example, a Confluence Space gets set up for marketing, HR and development, as well as for big projects where individuals across many teams coordinate. Any user can make a Space.
In this tutorial, see how to create a Space in Confluence. A personal Space is a dedicated location where a user can track and manage the work that they're involved in. Via the Confluence personal Space feature, employees can also share news, information and updates about what they're working on with others. These easy updates facilitate developer collaboration.
Personal Spaces in Confluence have a public component. Each person should use them to provide an 'About Me' section, where colleagues can learn about each other personally and professionally. This personal touch especially helps widely distributed development teams, which have few face-to-face opportunities. Consider expanded use of the public component for better sharing.
Confluence Pages and templates
Within each Confluence Space, there are Pages where team members can break down individual work items, meetings or other information. There are dozens of predefined Confluence Page templates that are available for quick and easy consumption.
As we explain in the Atlassian Confluence tutorial video, Pages are a valuable offering from the collaboration tool. The prebuilt templates include various types of work and knowledge. Developers, testers and other users can quickly select a Page template with a well-defined skeleton suited to their needs. Templates mean they don't have to decide on and implement a document format and schema. Pages get work and information into the system, setting the stage for documentation and knowledge sharing. The templates also create a consistent experience between teams.
Explore the available Confluence templates to empower your workflow. Here are a few of the best Confluence templates for developers:
- meeting notes (here);
- DevOps runbook (here);
- DevOps change management (here);
- disruptive brainstorming (here); and
- incident postmortem (here).
If no existing templates fit your specific needs, it's easy to create a custom template.
Finally, you can drag and drop files into Confluence to bring external documents into the pages for easy consumption and sharing.
Confluence plugins and integrations
One of the most prominent Confluence integrations is its extension with the vendor's issue tracking tool Jira. You can use the Confluence application integration to display and create Jira issues, collect data from the tool, and create reports and charts.
Confluence plugins also connect the tool to various third-party products. Microsoft's GitHub, Teams and Azure DevOps are three popular Confluence integrations for developers. There are more than 300 Confluence add-ons in the Atlassian marketplace.